Updated: Apr 28
Everyone comes into a conversation/interaction with a different perspective. (think of how different people see optical illusions differently) They are making assumptions of your meaning based on their own experiences with you and with others. When we struggle with our ability to convey thoughts there are a few techniques you can use:
1.) Ask them how they interpreted what you said. You can work out the confusion and also learn how to better communicate in the future. By asking questions, they will also feel involved in the conversation.
2.) IF by “understand my point of view” you mean, “agree with me” then you will be left feeling frustrated. Don’t go into a conversation expecting to convert their perspectives. Use conversations as an opportunity to learn about other’s perspectives and to share yours. People often have their own opinions formulated and they usually don’t want advice or to be convinced otherwise. Just like you, they just want to be heard.
3.) Try using an analogy/metaphor/story/example to get your point across. Abstract ideas can often be too broad. A story to exemplify the point is often helpful to get other’s to understand your points.
4.) Be concise, but thorough . Sometimes we have all sorts of thoughts in our minds, so we attempt creating shortcuts for brevity. If we are not careful, we can cut out important details. Sometimes, we add too much information and lose our listener by droning on (think of the lecturing parent).
5.) Be careful not to use terms that create a defense in your listening. There are many communication blockers, such as, judging, blaming, demeaning, minimizing, interrupting, becoming annoyed/agitated, stonewalling, using absolutes (always, never), etc.
Conversation is a skill that can be learned and honed. Listening is key to knowing how to communicate with the other person. It helps you determine how that person thinks, so you can better know how to relate to them with their own thinking style. Ex. a financial analyst may want to hear statistics, whereas a creative person may want a story to relate to.
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